FL District Considers Cutting All School Clubs Rather Than Approve Gay-Straight Alliance

classroom2It’s National Gay-Straight Alliance Day, but one Florida school district isn’t celebrating: The Lake County School Board is considering eliminating all extracurricular clubs at the middle-school level rather than allowing students to form GSAs.

After the Board denied a 14-year-old’s petition to start a GSA at Carver Middle School, the ACLU stepped in to offer some support (and possible legal muscle).  Citing the federal Equal Access Act, the ACLU pointed out that school districts can’t pick and choose which clubs should be permitted based on the topics students may discuss.

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

School Board members Bill Mathias, Debbie Stivender and Chairwoman Kyleen Fischer spoke in favor of a rule that would ban extra-curricular clubs in secondary schools while fellow board members Tod Howard and Rosanne Brandeburg favored banning extra-curricular clubs only in middle schools.

Fischer said the district should focus on education and that “social engineering” is not the job of the School Board. “It is not our job to socially mentor students, but to educate them,” she said.

Howard said he was worried about the clubs that would be lost under stricter rules. “I am very concerned that one club would push out the remainder of the clubs that are doing good things,” he said.

Equality Florida, the state’s LGBT-rights group, says this is typical of Lake County, which has consistently denied  gay students a safe and inclusive learning environment.  In 2011, a teacher at a Lake County school told his students that “gay men and women should be allowed to serve openly in the military only if they were sent to the front lines with no weapons.”

“The Lake County School Board continues to enable bullies over the safety of their students,” said Equality Florida’s Michael Farmer. “This is just the latest example of the need for the Lake County School Board to adopt an anti-bullying policy and a nondiscrimination policy that includes LGBT students and staff.”

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  • 2eo

    Teaching kids how to integrate into society.

    Not the Indigo Generation, they’re ALL SPECIAL AND STRAIGHT AND WHITE.

  • Dakotahgeo

    These FL hillbillies shouldn’t even have a license to live.

  • Steve Rider

    If the school board really loves Sky Monster they will also scapegoat gay teens, and tell the students it is because of the homos that they lost all of their clubs.

    It’s also a great opportunity to play the martyr card, oh how us poor Christians suffer (when in fact they seek to cause suffering).

    Praise Jeebus

  • Harley

    So THATS where the log cabin repugnant-cans come from!!!

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    @2eo: I’m curious 2eo, who are the Indigos you are referencing: the kids who want to form GSAs, the board members who oppose GSAs, or the Florida CLU? Are you critiquing the kids who want to form a GSA or are you critiquing those against? Alas, your comment is fragmented and not sure what your point is.

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    While sad for the students who want form their GSA today, the silver lining is the ALL students will know a bit of what its like to be discriminated against. Sorry music clubs kids, chess, debate, drama club kids, but its the adults who have ended your programs because that is the only way around the preventing discrimination. This is a great reverse education opportunity, and the kids who, they know where to point the blame, right at the bigots who are causing a fuss for all.

    And we all know that is the losing side, maybe not today, certainly tomorrow.

  • 2eo

    @The Real Mike in Asheville: What I’m getting at is the culture around the kids, the kids are just kids.

  • The Real Mike in Asheville

    @2eo: I guess I didn’t pick up the negative that these kids are not “indigo” but we all certainly know those parents who think their kids are. And I agree, why can’t these idiot adults just let kids, who are doing nothing untoward, be kids. Thanks for the reply.

  • D9W

    Why is the majority of the LGBTQ community down there being silent on this issue? Don’t tell me there are only two gay guys in the whole state of FL. It just gets me when GLBTQ people vote republican.

  • LadyL

    @The Real Mike in Asheville: Let’s hope the kids know where to place the blame! I worry about youngsters who, encouraged by cowardly and hypocritical adults, vent their resentment on any queer kid who crosses their path.

  • Chad Hunt

    Florida IS a BLUE state again. The problem with most states like Florida is the majority of democrats live in a concentrated area like Orlando, South Beach, Fort Lauderdale, etc. this means that we have a small amount of districts that are democratic even though they outnumber the amount of Republicans. Republicans are spread out over most of the state in many districts. So more Republicans are sent to Congress as representatives.

    What’s worse is the fact that Republicans keep dividing their district in order to take over the state government and Representatives sent to Congress.

    Often there are hundreds of thousand more votes cast for democrat candidates in a state but more Republicans are actually sent to Congress to represent all of these small Republican districts.

    If i have said it once I have said it a 1000 times. Schools need to enforce a comprehensive, compulsory social studies course for age appropriate levels in the elementary, middle and high school levels. This course needs to focus on Sexuality, Gender, Ethnicities, Religion, Body Image, and Social Class Differences.

    The role of education as defined in the united states is to provide Citizens and Workers. We would have a definite more well adjusted group of citizens and workers were a course like this implemented into our current school curriculums.

  • vklortho

    @Chad Hunt: My state of Michigan has the exact same problem(Democrats being concentrated in Lansing, Detroit, Kalamazoo, etc). It has been blue since ’92, but is tied with Mississippi and Utah for the worst LGBT policies at the state level.

Comments are closed.